New to XT30 - intro & couple q's

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Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 20,392
New to XT30 - intro & couple q's

I finally joined the Fuji club. I've harbored a secret longing for X gear since I first "met" the X-T1 at Photoplus Expo years ago.

My main camera kit is my D7500 with a variety of lenses. I figure I'll migrate to mirrorless sooner or later, but I only upgraded to that camera 2 years ago and bought a new lens for it last year, so I'm in no hurry to do anything.

But GAS struck ... and I've spent the last year whittling down my LR catalog from 90K images to 22K and in the process of doing that, saw quite a few nice pics taken with my Sony A6000 and 18-55 kit lens. I sold off my e-mount gear, but realized that I miss having a smaller take-almost-everywhere camera. (I have an RX100, but while it's super small, it's not "real camera" enough to want to shoot).

As a Nikon user, it made sense to at least consider a Z5 with 24-50, but I assumed that would be too big. The Z50 with 16-50 made the most sense. Outliers were an E-M5 III with 12-45/4 and the X100V. So this past week, I finally had a chance to visit a camera store (dropping my daughter in NJ so I stopped at Bergen County Camera) and had a chance to check out most of those. At this point, I knew the capabilities pretty well and really wanted to see what they were like in person. Much to my surprise, I walked out with a (used) X-T30 and 18-55!

The Z5 & 24-50 is smaller than my DSLR with 35/1.8, but not by enough to make it a grab & take everywhere camera. The EVF was VERY nice. Dials are not as handy as on my DSLR.

The Z50 still would have been a practical choice, but the dials are even less handy (trying to turn the front dial while pressing the ISO button to switch to Auto ISO was just a pain) and I was less than enchanted with the plasticky feel of the lens, particularly at the point where it "clicked" to & from collapsed form. It's probably perfectly sturdy, but made me wonder how long that would last. EVF was just ok. Overall, the combo of the camera and lens didn't seem all that small.

E-M5 III was very small, but controls were a bit complicated and ergonomically, it felt too small. It was uncomfortable to hold. (I also tried an E-M1 III with 12-40 and that was a much nicer camera; just overkill for what I want). The EVF was pretty nice - great eye relief for eyeglasses.

They didn't have an X100V in stock, but brought out the X-T30 and I was surprised by how small it was with the 18-55 (esp for an f/2.8-4 lens). And I remembered the lenses from years ago - sturdy and silky smooth compared to the cheap plastic Nikon kit lenses. EVF is decent; nothing particularly good or bad about it. I've always like the manual controls, but of course, the XT30 gives up an ISO dial for compactness. That's ok - I have it set to the front dial. So far, I like it. It's slightly heavy for such a small camera, but I'll take that over plasticky build. The menu system seems somewhat unintuitive as a Nikon & Sony user - not navigating it so much as understanding what the options are and how to get it to behave a certain way. (I'm sure the Olympus would have been worse!) It's comfortable enough to hold with a small lens - and I got a 3rd party L bracket with grip used for another $25. It's a bit awkward to work the fn button or to hold the AFL button (set to AF-ON) to tweak focus manually after it locks focus, but no small camera can be as easy to handle as a bigger one.

If I understand the BBF options, I can do back button focus with AF-S or AF-C by having shutter AF disabled and AFL set to AF-ON. In order to focus manually, I have to hold that button, wait for focus to lock, then keep it held while focusing.

Or I can be in manual focus with a button set to instant AF. But then that doesn't seem to give me much control over what I'm focusing on (I only see a big dark gray square patch over the middle of the screen).

Is there anything I'm missing there ? (I'd like to not have to hold a button while turning the manual focus ring, but I also want control over the AF focus point).

On a related note, it seems like every time I go to take a new photo, it starts with the AF focus point in the lower left corner. I don't know if that's a default or if I'm hitting something between shot ?

Thanks & glad to finally be part of the club

- Dennis
Gallery at

Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D7500 Nikon Z50 Olympus E-M1 Sony a6000 Sony RX100
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